It was in April last year that we stepped in to the Great Lakes Institute of Management and one of the first comments that we heard from our seniors was ‘I assure you that you will go through hell, but then I also assure you that it’ll all be a lot of fun’. Looking back at the year that has gone by, I can say for sure that this one comment clearly sums up the journey that we have undertaken in this institution.
May 4, 2009 was our first official day at campus and at MBA studies (though practically speaking the very first assignment we got was 2 hours after we registered our names for the course which included close to hundred pages of pre-read for the class to take place the next day!). The initial month at the resort was fabulous. It was royalty at its best with wonderful rooms, beaches to play on, volleyball in the evenings, parties and of course a lot of studies and assignments. To be very honest the first term felt like ‘hell’ had broken lose and if that was not enough it was followed by term 2 and 3 which seemed like the end of the world. To add to it we had our cultural festival taking place at the same time and host of other festivals and events to be organized. It was only because of those sleepless nights and skipped meals that we could make it through those five months.
What followed was the International Study Tour to Malaysia and Singapore, and those were the days that the group (and also the students who had gone back home for a vacation) enjoyed, and that to for the only reason that we were away from assignments for a week! Then came the fourth term and the world had changed, things had become much more easier, assignments seemed much more simpler, pre-reads were managed comfortably, events were conducted swiftly and suddenly we realized that the last 5 months in college had transformed us into individuals who could manage any kind of work load with ease. A lot of this success can be attributed to the fact that we had world class professors from both the industry as well as the renowned institutes all over the world to teach us at our campus. Their inputs and advice has gone a long way to make us what we are today.
The days that followed began the wave of wins that Great Lakes showcased to the world; including those where we heard that students from our batch had won some event by the hour in different parts of the country. Gym sessions began, there were sports tournaments that were organized, Latitude 13 05, our Business fest, visit from dignitaries, everything flowed smoothly. We had VIPs such as Hon’ble Minister Mr. Shashi Tharoor (MoS for External Affairs), Mr. Salman Khurshid (MoS for Corporate Affairs), Mr. MK Stalin (Deputy CM of Tamil Nadu), Mr. TN Seshan (Former Chief Election Commissioner), Mr. Ratan Tata (Chairman of the Tata Group), Mr. Adi Godrej (Chairman of Godrej Group), Ms Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (CMD of Biocon), Mr. Jamshyd Godrej (Chairman and MD of Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Co), Mr. Rahul Bajaj (Chairman and MD of Bajaj Auto Ltd.), Mr. Madhur Bajaj (Director of Bajaj Auto Holdings Ltd.), Mr. A Mahendran (MD of Godrej Sara Lee), Mr. Shibu Lal (COO of Infosys), Mr. Ajit Balakrishnan (CEO of Rediff.com) and so many more visiting our institute. It was rarely that people get to meet so many stalwarts within the span of a year, and we did just that!
It was January, and it was time for placements, there was euphoria on the first day when offers were pouring in from all quarters. The days that followed saw the rolling placement bringing in companies round the season. It was soon that we realized that we had started approaching the end of our course.
There are lots of things that I have missed out here like the transformation of our campus within the one year that we spent to be among the best in the country, the trips to Pondicherry, the opening of the new restaurant just next to our campus, the journey to Mayajaal, the screening of IPL matches etc., though all had their own charm and were cherished to the core.
Finally looking back at the year that has gone by, it does bring in a feeling of nostalgia, something that all of us would miss after a month’s time. We would soon be leaving the campus making way for the next batch the ‘Gladiators’ to take over. What we are handing over to them is the legacy that we inherited from our seniors, and if I have to make that one statement to the incoming batch, it would be ‘I assure you that you will go through hell, but then I also assure you that it’ll all be a lot of fun’.
– Syed Zoheb